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Auberge takes over management of iconic Aspen hotel from Rock Resorts

By
October 4, 2011

Hotel Jerome's garden terrace

Hotel Jerome's garden terrace

Auberge Resorts has added Hotel Jerome to its small curated list of luxury hotels in a move that will increase the brand’s access to the world of affluent skiing enthusiasts.

Formerly part of the Rock Resorts collection, Hotel Jerome is located in Aspen, CO and has been at the center of the skiing destination since it opened in 1889. Auberge will be assuming management of the Hotel Jerome starting next month.

“This will provide an option in ski country for the Auberge enthusiast,” said Caroline MacDonald, senior vice president for marketing at Auberge Resorts.  “Our guests are extremely loyal to the Auberge brand and frequently visit multiple properties within our resort portfolio.

“Our guests have indicated that they would like to enjoy the Auberge experience in a mountain setting,” she said.

Auberge Resorts’ hotels and private clubs are all members of Relais & Châteaux, a global hospitality association for intimate, elegant and independently owned hotels. The collection currently comprises 480 luxurious establishments.

Ms. Escalera is not affiliated with Hotel Jerome or Auberge, but agreed to comment as a luxury travel expert.

Suite set-up
The Hotel Jerome was established as one of the most luxurious hotels when it opened during Aspen’s silver-mining boom and has since been recognized as an important historical site for the Midwest, according to Auberge.

The Hotel Jerome has been maintained in a way that has kept its old-school glamour and sense of history, which is emphasized through the décor of rich curtains and ornate furniture.

The hotel’s main restaurant is still an elegant dining room, something that is not commonly found in more modern hotels that have transformed to become more family-friendly.

The dining room at Hotel Jerome

Indeed, the hotel’s slogan is currently, “Let our history inspire you to make some of your own.”

Hotel Jerome comprises 94 rooms, all of which are a suite lay-out and contain unique views of the mountains.

The hotel also contains two event rooms, a dining room and the J-Bar, which has become a local watering hole for the returning affluent skiers.

Rooms at the hotel range from $400 per night and can reach up to $1,000 per night, particularly during peak skiing times.

Hotel Jerome

Hotel Jerome

“Hotel Jerome has all of the qualities that make it a perfect Auberge resort,” Ms. MacDonald said. “First of all, it’s intimate – Auberge guests expect exquisite small properties.

“There’s a strong focus on food and wine, which we plan to enhance still further.,” she said. “Also, the Jerome possesses an authenticity and character that reflect its identity and setting, and it’s deeply rooted in the community.”

Skiing in
Taking over Hotel Jerome from Rock Resorts marks Auberge’s second venture into Colorado.

Auberge is currently in the process of creating The Aspen Club and Auberge Residences that will translate the lifestyle of the current Aspen Club and Spa’s guests into a luxury residence community.

In addition, the company also owns The Auberge Residences at Element 52, which consists of 33 mountain residences in Telluride, CO.

Auberge’s interest in the ski country makes sense, particularly in Aspen where many of the U.S.’s wealthier travelers go to ski.

Indeed, skiing has long been noted as a passion of the affluent, something that has not gone unnoticed by luxury brands.

For example, Swiss watchmaker Hublot was the official timekeeper of the 2011 FIS Alpine World Ski Championship (see story).

Additionally, German automaker Audi tapped into the wealthy skiing audience by being the official automotive sponsor for the Audi Birds of Prey Men’s Alpine World ski race (see story).

Auberge will also now have access to all the Hotel Jerome’s recent guests which it can use to cross-promote other hotels in the collection.

The hotelier also owns properties such as the Esperanza Cabo San Lucas and the Rancho Valencia Resort and Spa in California.

“Aspen is a top U.S. destination for the monied class and Hotel Jerome is its icon, so this is a strategic addition to Auberge’s collection,” said Karen Weiner Escalera, president of KWE Partners, Miami. “Hotel Jerome’s database alone will be an invaluable asset.

“Plus now, Auberge will be able to  offer guests of its other hotels and resorts a second ski destination,” she said.

Final Take
Kayla Hutzler, editorial assistant on Luxury Daily, New York

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Kayla Hutzler is an editorial assistant on Luxury Daily. Her beats are automotive, consumer electronics, consumer packaged goods, financial services, media/publishing, software and technology, telecommunications, travel and hospitality, real estate, retail and sports. Reach her at kayla@napean.com.

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